In fact we like to think we're an open forum for the 'reality' of punk in all it's forms. And we also naively thought that was the norm for most
punk rock publications elsewhere! Or so it seemed. When 'our' punk is censored and stripped bare of it's character and even worse
airbrushed with someone else's 'safe' views just for the sake of clarity. It becomes not just an infringement on what we can or what we
can't hear or read. It has also become just like the rest of the established music scene, a safe and easy on the ear/eye piece of shit.

Censorship in punk for whatever reason is predominantly done by cops, local governments, moms and dads or the mainstream press.
You know the usual authoritarian figures and party poopers that have been a bone of contention in our throats since day one. From the
days of Bill Grundy who tried to cock a
Sex Pistol but it backfired in his face, to the whitchhunts of PMRC outrage. These ignorant moral
avengers don't and won't understand punk coz they ain't punks. But what's even more sinister is the increasing censorship approach that
has been adopted and carried out within the current punk scene itself. Some of these schitzophrenic individuals just don't seem to get it.
These censors who call themselves punks in print and name alone, are acting as Uncle Moral and Auntie Judgment for the punk scene.
They are losing their instincts and siding with public approval. And most are more than willing and able to pull the roller blinds down or
erase the foul bad smells that punk inspires!

So just bringing you up to date....when it was bought to my attention by Mike from
Oppressed Logic who had become the latest victim of
the Punk police all be it in a minor form, I was all ears. He was asked to write some record reviews in the highly respected
Hit List punk
mag. However he was more than amused and dumbfounded by what appeared in print under his name when the said edition hit the
When I read Mike's e-mail with the contrasting slashed reviews (shown below). I was also astounded and I nearly fell off the chair laughing especially
when I read the "quintessential" phrase. Had Mike gone all 'prep' on us all of a sudden? Of course not! He'd had these alien words (to him at least)
planted in his mouth just like any drunk in the cells of downtown Bilston Road Police station on a Saturday night. After the laughing had died down at
the stark contrast in review content. I thought what a sorry state the punk scene has become when our mags are censored by our so-called 'own
kind'!!!! Mr Oppressed's verbal views and opinions are brutal and blatant sometimes, and we don't always agree with em, but they're honest. I mean
you can understand him getting censored in say the LA Weekly but never in a punk mag...till now!!!! His remarks ain't racist, sexist or any of the other
'ists' on the list. Although 'realist' could be next for the chopping block. Mike distinctly requested Mr Bale to leave the one review intact, but I'm afraid
he was pissing in the wind. This is a minor squabble and it ain't gonna change our views no doubt. And I ain't been rail roaded in by Mike to gang up
Hit List, I just think it's an important example to the Hit List readership who bought the mag to know that what they're actually reading is maybe
not all it seems. And it's also right that you the reader are informed on the goings on in our punk world.

Here's Jeff Bale's (Hit List editor) reasons why he cut the crap.....

Dear Mike: Someone forwarded me your complaints below. The fact is that I edit everyone's reviews to make them 1) shorter and more concise, 2)
more descriptive, and 3) more literate and less fanzine-like. I also get rid of lots of extraneous remarks. I like your reviews, in the sense that you
obviously know quite a bit about the subgenres you cover, but we're not going to publish anything in Hit List in the vein of "fuck, yeah, this fucking
rules." If you want to publish reviews in which every third word is a swear word, you'll have to do it in another magazine. If you had a problem with my
review edits, you should have addressed your complaints directly to me - and right away - so that we could discuss the matter. I don't think I should be
the last person to hear about it.
Jeff Bale  

Well we understand fully Jeff's space confines in a mag layout. It ain't as flexible as a web site and contributors should be aware there's gonna be
some editing and grammar changes, that's only natural. But what we don't expect or desire is having words put into a reviewers mouth just to tidy up
his brogue, as is the case here. Now call me a dumb limey cunt if you like, but I think punk mags should make it their god given right to tell the truth at
least once in a while. If the punk mags are gonna cut corners like the mainstream press do, then who the hell is gonna tell us the truth? Guess its
down to those amateur illiterate zines once more.

How we pronounce the Queens English is another whole new bag of spanners. Some of us speak it like we think it, and if that ain't good enough for
the punk public I think we're on a different planet. Surely a publication of Hit List's scale should or could cover all bases of the scene in grammar and
in writing technique. So if you only wanna publish scholered writers, why the hell ask some punk from the street to review? It seems a waste of space if
your gonna doctor everything he writes. Any punk from the street ain't gonna start talking like an Eton Rifle with a big fat plumb in his mouth to make it
easier for the less street wise amongst us to understand he? So get real Mr Bale or should I say Sir! Another point you mentioned was
fanzines. Fanzines are rough and some of em are fucking hideous I agree. And some need banishing to outer Mongolia forever and ever amen. But
never forget it was rough diamonds and crudely written zines like Sniffin Glue, Slash and even your old bolt hole MRR, that gave yourself and
chancers like me the ability to air our views in the first place. So please correct me if I'm wrong but ain't you practising the Moral Puritanism ethic here
just a slight bit. The same watchdog mentality you so readily defied back in 1999? I'd really like to know and I'm sure your readers would too? And
finally If you feel I've butted in unannounced on a private misunderstanding between yourself and Mr Oppressed (and now it seems very censored)
then feel free to tell me to fuck off or sneer or just ignore it. Coz Jeff old bean, you won't get censored on this site.

Here are the unedited and edited reviews of Cyco Loco Logic (CCL) to compare. The edited reviews appeared in the Nov./Dec issue of Hit List.
Here at Punk Rocker. We are always for the underdog, the put upon or the
dosser in the gutter, if we think something needs saying.

“s/t” CD
This is just utter shit! Lame fucking stoner metal rock
crap with stupid stoner dreaming about getting laid
and selling a lot of records mentality lyrics. This is
worse than BON JOVI, and pretty similar! Fucking hell
this is horrible! This band even changed their name
from THE ASSHOLES so they would be marketable….
Yeah, marketable for sucking more cock! (CLL)
(Industrial Strength / 3824 Regatta Blvd. / Richmond,
CA 94804)

“Daddy’s Little Girl” CD
MEDIA BLITZ has been around for about 10 years
now and has had a few different vocalists in the past.
This here I must say is the best they have ever
sounded. Now with strong female vocals, Beast can
really belt the shit out of her trap. Tony Fingers on
guitar has been playing in tons of bands non-stop
since 1978 and is just fucking amazing. A couple of
these songs are from his past bands like “Kill The
Cockroach” which is classic and “Death Breath” that’s
he’s been rehashing in various bands since 1979.
MEDIA BLITZ is just pure East Los Angeles punk rock
that soon shall be recognized or they will just rot in the
underground pits of East Los. (CLL)
(AGRSV / PO Box 911562 / L.A., CA / 90091)  

“s/t” split 7”
All right the legendary SPECIAL DUTIES are back with
all original members and they are still stuck in 1977.
They have 2 songs of mid-tempo slower ’77 style
punk rock on this, “I Wish it Could be 77” & THE
ADVERTS classic “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes”. Both of
those song’s can also be found on the “Punk Singles
Collection”, which is an excellent CD. VIOLENT
SOCIETY has 3 songs of pure angry punk full of
angst and aggression. They also cover SPECIAL
DUTIES song “Violent Society”, which is most
appropriate. Both these bands rip it up and this is a
soon to be classic 7”, so pick it up. (CLL)
(Soap And Spikes / PO Box 85021 / 561 Brant St /
Burlington, Ontario, L7R 4K3, Canada)

“Closer Than You Think” CD
Now these young blokes fucking shred! They are
FRONT, and have a mean hardcore punk edge to
themselves. This CD only contains 7 songs and it
leaves you wanting more. Definitely check it out. They
toured with OPPRESSED LOGIC in Europe and U.K
and will be doing a split together in the future. Keep
an eye out for 17 STITCHES you “punk r-r-r-
rockers”!! (CLL)
(Skipworth / PO Box 19388 / London W4 1GA / UK)

“s/t” CD
Weird! This is lame stoner metal rock crap featuring
stupid stoner-type lyrics about getting laid and
selling a lot of records. It's worse than BON JOVI,
but very similar. The BROKE AMERICANS even
changed their name from the ASSHOLES so that
they would be more marketable, but it's not likely
anyone would buy this. (CLL)
(Industrial Strength / 3824 Regatta Blvd. /
Richmond, CA 94804)

Mike Oppressed Logic..."Now I wouldn't have said
some of that!!! This was ONE review I even asked
NOT to edit, oh well next......

“Daddy’s Little Girl” CD
MEDIA BLITZ has been around for about ten years
now and has had a few different vocalists in the
past, but this is the best they have ever sounded.
Strong female vocalist Beast can really belt the stuff
out of her trap, and guitarist Tony Fingers is just
amazing; a couple of the songs are from his past
bands (like “Kill The Cockroach” which is classic)
Quintessential East Los Angeles punk. (CLL)
(AGRSV / PO Box 911562 / L.A., CA / 90091)

Mike - "quintesswhat???"  

“s/t” split 7”
The legendary SPECIAL DUTIES are back with all
original members and they are still stuck in 1977.
They offer two songs of slower, mid-tempo ’77 style
punk, including the ADVERTS classic “Gary Gilmore’
s Eyes”. VIOLENT SOCIETY do three songs of
angry punk that's full of angst and aggression, and
also cover SPECIAL DUTIES' own “Violent Society”,
which is most appropriate.
(Soap And Spikes / PO Box 85021 / 561 Brant St /
Burlington, Ontario, L7R 4K3, Canada)  

“Closer Than You Think” CD
These young blokes fucking shred! They are cross
FRONT, and have a mean hardcore punk edge to
their music. This CD only contains seven songs and
it leaves you wanting more. Definitely keep an eye
out for 17 STITCHES you “punk r-r-r-rockers”!!
(Skipworth / PO Box 19388 / London W4 1GA / UK)
Meanwhile here's the debut issue of Hit List reviewed in my old newsletter SPUNK! I was lent this copy by Mitch (4 Minute Warning zine) and it
seemed a great alternative in punk publishing at the time, although it covered some shit too.

Vol. 1. Number 1 Feb./March 1999
Is this 130 page read the new alternative to Maximumrocknroll? On first impressions it's gotta be a very good bet! And I
don't say alternative lightly, coz this mag is put together by an ex-MRR editorial. And most of it's contributors are either
disilutioned or sacked ex-shitworkers, which is encouraging.
Hit List comes in an eyecatching full colour card cover and high standard paper, unlike the bogroll it's arch rival puts out.
Biggest downer though were the bands featured. Coz even the good layouts couldn't hide the fact that none of em were of
interest to a punk audience. They bordered far too much on the 'primitive aggressive rock n roll' tag that the editor ia aiming
at covering....err you know garage type stuff. Which are born out by the bland Fastbacks, pseudo heavy rockers cum
transistors - the Toilet Boys. And this issues flagship band the over hyped New Yorkers Electric Frankenstein. All 3 band
interviews were indepth, with an accomponying well researched discography. But with no actual in your pace punk bands it
was wasted. The major feature and cover story was 'The Politics Of Black Metal'...lord have mercy!!!! And although this style
of rock is alien to me it became pretty interesting in a droll sort of way. That is until some of the characters involved were
dabbling paedophiles!!!" This stuff I can't read at all it makes me fucking sick...fucking Nonces!!! Lets move on. The editor
Jeff Bales was there at MRR's conception, so he's got punk pedigree and has been planning this launch for a while. His timing with the demise of old
pal Tim and a new era for MRR is pretty essential as long as he covers some punk rock in future. The extensive reviews are short just like MRR. In
fact the layout reminds me of MRR but with a professional veneer.
Best part of this debut issue is the regular (I hope) Winston Smith collage in the middle, featuring punk's last supper, great image! There's some good
columnists too, and these for me were the pulling power. Most of em were as open and scathing in their uncensored libel as anything I've read in any
column zine since god knows when? The fired, dis-gruntled ex-MRR columns were the best. They stuck the knife in which made for an hilarious read.
The UK should be represented soon with a whole host lined up including our own Mark P. from Sniffin Glue fame (although I dunno whether his venom
is as targeted now as it was then?). Plus George Marshall from Pulped mag to give an Oi! perspective. I'd say Hit List is aiming at a mature punk
bracket but untill they feature some of the younger more adebt punk bands its gonna find it hard, but its early days! If MRR had the Hit List attitude,
columnists and layout it would be onto a winner into the millenium. But were somehow destined never to get a punk mag that looks good, reads good
and features the best bands. 2 outta 3 ain't bad for a start though!.
$3.95 POO Box 8346 Berkeley, CA 94707, USA
(review from Spunk! newsletter 1999)

Anyone wishing to air their views on this matter or censorship in general within the punk scene. Just let me know via this address And if they wanna inform or ask Hit List themselves what's their policy on reviews, go ahead at
coz I did. And here's Jeff's unedited reply!

Dear Peter:
First of all, Mike and I have already worked this matter out. Secondly, I've never intentionally changed the meaning of his reviews, so allegations of
"censorship" are utterly inappropriate. If I've accidentally done so on one or two occasions, then I made a mistake and I deserve to be criticized. As for
stylistic matters, we have certain standards at Hit List that we intend to maintain. As far as I'm concerned, it's every editor's job to make contributing
writers sound smarter and more literate than they actually are (by, e.g., correcting grammar, syntax, and factual errors, and by weeding out stylistic
flaws where necessary). Some magazines foolishly accept 'anything' they get without making any editorial revisions, and the miserable results are
painfully apparent to all. Just have a look at 95% of the world's fanzines, for God's sake! Third, we recruited Mike as a reviewer because he knew a
hell of a lot about various subgenres of punk, but that doesn't mean he's going to be spared from the editing process.
Jeff Bale

Here below is an edited version by Punk Rocker of Jeff's reply to outline how editing can give us a new angle on things.
First off.....butt out asshole. Secondly, I only edit what I don't like and that's what Hit List will remain to do for the sake of face. I won't change for
no-one. It's a bummer getting caught but i'll try and be more sly next time. This ain't some dumbo fanzine where the measly truth counts ha! I learnt
the ropes years ago, and this is the real world and big business, so no time for stupid punk facts. A word here or there ain't gonna hurt no-one. As far
as im concerned im the editor and what I say goes. We hired Mike to give us a bit of street credibilty coz we are lacking in that department. We're
only in touch with our advertisers bands so fuck anyone else. And fuck the street too coz you can buy anything if you really need it.
Jeff Bale

'From a reliable source in the music industry'
Hit List is nothing but a rock n roll mag . Not a punk mag or a hardcore mag. Jeff Bale used to be MR Hardcore in the early 80s when that was the
trend. Now he is MR. Rock n roll. basically the guy seems like a trendy to me. As far as hitlist goes. they only seem to care about bands on their label
and promoting them. Come on check out all the ads they put in their own mag. Give me a break. I personally think they decided to start their mag to
take down MRR. While MRR isn't what it used to be I hardly think they deserve to be taken down, or that starting a mag to destroy MRR is a good
idea. They proclaimed in their first issue to be about all punk. But its obvious they are really just rock n rollers trying to further their labels popularity's.
Also that mag is far from professional. the way it looks and lots of the stuff in it isn't to good. Or well thought out. HitList has constantly struggled to
keep afloat since they started. many times I got whiney letters from them bitching about how not enough people advertise and that the ad rates will
have to go up if this continues. Well to me a mag has to be worth advertising in in order to spend my labels hard earned money. I myself dont think
that HitList is worth it. neither do most of the people out there into punk. Hit List only sells around 4000-5000 of their mag per issue. Not the 10000 up
they claim. Also I heard the latest issue was postponed cause lack of advertising. Needless to say I think that mag is a fraud. Not necessarily the
columnist but the guys behind it. Being Jeff bale and that Brett guy. I think the only reason they started HitList was to promote their labels and make
big $$$. I dont think they care about any music or are really into it to any meaningful dept. I just think its al about money. their is nothing wrong with
making money but dont try to be Mr. Righteous when your not. I defiantly think Jeff and Brett are not. I could go on with plenty more reasons and facts
but will put this to rest. Dont be surprised if HitList goes out of print really soon. cause I dont think hardly anyone could give a shit about them anyway.

I won't be lingering on this particular chapter any longer as the publication in question ceased a few years ago you'll be glad to hear. But like above
someone wants their say ill put it up. Both sides have had their say. But there will be new censorship queries in Punk no doubt, and if Punk Rocker
hears about em they'll be put under the spotlight.